Telling Time - Old Hundred

The amplified feedback framing the opening seconds of Old Hundred’s latest release Time in the Wild is the declarative statement of a band that has evolved from a folksy trio into their own version of multi-instrumental mandolin-heavy alternative rock. One song could have electric guitar work and a driving beat building to a chorus, and the next could open with mandolins and vocal harmonies. Even though the songs are very different from each other and their previous record, they still all feel like a set that goes together. With four different lead singers and songwriters, Old Hundred isn’t sure what genre they really fit into, they just know that they’re Old Hundred. 

”Each time we write a song, we don’t try and be a folk band or any type of band.” says singer and guitarist Blake Skidmore. “We just try to play it until it feels right.” 

After a self-titled and well-received release that featured revamped skeletons of songs from the back catalogues of Skidmore and the other two original members, Nate Gelinas and Jon Helm, the new record was a more collaborative effort. With more familiarity with each other and the songs they had been hashing out for nearly a year and a half, Old Hundred spent weekends with the backdrop of Athens to yield an album that had an accidental theme centering on stagnation and stress. 

“A lot of the songs on the album have to do with the stress of relationships and the stress of being involved in any one sector of your life for a long period of time where everything kind of starts to strain and time moves in different ways,” says drummer Jon Helm. “There’s a lot of gravity on the record and seriousness, but there’s also a lot of candid moments, too.” 

Old Hundred are equal parts of a whole, which created something intimate and ambitious at the same time. “It’s got more rock ‘n’ roll and electric guitars and all that but it’s just a continuation of the process that started at the very beginning,” says Skidmore. “I’d like to think that we’re a band that if anyone of us left, it wouldn’t be the same thing.” 
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